This season we’ve chosen to ask our students to bring clothes and help us collect something to give away to poor families in our community. Through our church we have obtained a list of people who are in need in the community, and we will be using the things we collect to help make the season a little brighter for a few families here. Praise God that we have enough to give away, and praise him that our students are generous — they have brought a lot!
At a time when there is so much tragedy in the world, I have been gripped by the importance of giving. I think the most important thing to acknowledge is not how much we can do for others by our giving, but how much God can change our spirit through the decision to behave generously. If we allow him to take control over our possessions (I know, he already has control, but follow me here), then those possessions no longer have control over us, and we are freer to serve him with the things he has entrusted to us.
And I think there is another principle at work here as well. If we are able to loosen our grip on our wealth and possessions, it allows us to see more clearly just how much it must have cost our Lord Jesus 2,000 years ago, when he gave up everything to enter into human history and redeem mankind through his life, death, and resurrection. From his great high place he descended to be born among animals, work as a common carpenter, die a criminal’s death, and be buried in a borrowed tomb. He is truly the greatest giver of all, and in giving we get to identify with him just a little bit, this Christmas. It kind of makes you want to give stuff away all the time, I think.
This year I’m looking for ways to give to help those in Syria who have suffered so much.
I don’t yet know to which charity I will end up donating, but here is some information I’ve found so far:
- The British Red Cross. They are already supporting 1,000 families forced to flee their homes. This includes providing essential food, shelter, water and medical care.Teams are providing medical care and ambulances to transport emergency cases to specialised facilities.
- The Syria Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets due to their distinctive hard hats, is a volunteer civil defence non-governmental organisation which works to rescue people from the rubble of destroyed buildings. Donations to their “hero fund” are used to pay for medical care for injured White Helmets, to help them get back on their feet, as well as supporting families of volunteers killed in action. https://www.whitehelmets.org
- Doctors without borders. Very few doctors remain in Aleppo and, despite enjoying a protected status under international law, many hospitals and other medical facilities have been destroyed. MSF supports eight hospitals in the city of Aleppo. It runs six medical facilities across northern Syria and supports more than 150 health centres and hospitals across the country, many of them in besieged areas. MSF is no longer able to get into the city but continues to try to help the facilities it supports. http://www.msf.org/donate
- I would also recommend using a website like charity navigator, a site that you can use to find charities that are helping with different causes. Just go to http://www.charitynavigator.org and search for Syria.
Have you found any ways to give and help the cause of civilians in Syria? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.